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Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687

Posted by samzenpus
from the duck-and-cover dept.
garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"

*

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Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project

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  • We're on our way! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:40PM (#30793320)

    To an Idiocracy!

    Public school administrators are leading the way!

  • by russotto (537200) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:41PM (#30793332) Journal

    What's the student supposed to get counseling for? The trauma the school put him through for no reason? More likely, so the school authorities can point to the fact that the kid got counseling to show something is wrong with him (and not them)

    I'd like to recommend the authorities get some counseling. Either that, or a clue, but counseling is easier to come by.

  • by johngaunt (414543) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:44PM (#30793362)

    This is what happens when the students are smarter than the teachers.

  • Lesson Learned (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:45PM (#30793366)

    Don't do anything to attract attention to yourself ever.

  • by studog-slashdot (771604) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:48PM (#30793378)

    The school, which has about 440 students in grades 6 to 8 and emphasizes technology skills, was initially put on lockdown while authorities responded.

    ...Stu

  • by nil_orally (1574491) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:48PM (#30793382)
    The real question is why are we letting people this stupid in charge of educating our children?
  • by shinehead (603005) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:50PM (#30793398)
    "I don't blame the school...it's the continued pussification of America that is the real problem at hand". Wish I had said that. WTF is going on with these school admin? Dude is staff a magnet school, got to expect to come across situations like this and be able to deal with it. I think the school staff needs counseling not the kid and his family. Pussies.....
  • by Tisha_AH (600987) <Tisha.Hayes@gmail.com> on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:50PM (#30793402) Journal

    This is part of the "nervous Nellie" reactions that have developed over the past few years. We should be encouraging inquisitiveness, exploration and learning in our children or we will just produce more mediocre administrators. Kids do things at home, bring them to school and show their friends. As long as it was not clearly a weapon or some other prohibited device there should not be a problem with it.

    We are applying the same "sterile area" rules that supposedly exist in our airports to our schools. Will TSA be staffing the schools to keep out prohibited items?

    Unless the child lied about what the device was it appears that the principal overreacted and did not apply too much common sense. It sounds like a pretty cool idea to use a Gatoraide bottle as a focusing point for a sonic device. Smart kid to think that through and to try something with it.

    How many people who read /. have tried out other things like this in their childhood? Most of us have.

  • by studog-slashdot (771604) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:54PM (#30793440)

    The student violated school policies, but there was no criminal intent, Luque said.

    The policies emphasizing technology? Or the policies forbidding technology?

    The student will not be prosecuted, but authorities were recommending that he and his parents get counseling, the spokesman said.

    It is clear it is not the student that requires counselling.

    ...Stu

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:54PM (#30793450) Homepage

    What's the student supposed to get counseling for?

    Counsel, as in legal counsel perhaps. That's who I would talk to first.

    Instead of an abject apology, the school has the gall to toss the blame on the parents and student? Good thing the school emphasizes technology, I can't imagine what sort of idiot is the vice principal for a 'normal' school.

  • Fucked up paranoia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luc1fel (1469805) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:56PM (#30793460)
    So, it wasn't enough that the device from the poor kid (who showed some practical skills) was perfectly harmless, his home also had to be checked just in case he was a terrorist?

    That's fucked up beyond 1984.
  • by mustafap (452510) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:57PM (#30793468) Homepage

    >And we wonder why US is behind all other nations in educating our young.

    The rest of the world knows though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:58PM (#30793472)

    Bomb and NotBomb are not equally likely possibilities.

    So you propose that NoReaction is inferior because you're screwed if it was a bomb, while Reaction is inferior because its safe either way. I think you're wrong, NoReaction+Bomb is the worst outcome, yes, but its astonishingly unlikely. Getting hit by lightning in your office likely. OTOH, Reaction+NotBomb is still somewhat harmful to you (if nothing else the kids family and their friends think you are a monster) and NotBomb is very very likely.

    On average having a the more tempered reaction is the best outcome. Sadly, people are stupid.

  • by Jason Earl (1894) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:58PM (#30793474) Homepage Journal

    And the politicians wonder why it is that America has trouble getting kids interested in the sciences.

    I can understand that an assistant principle might not have any idea how bombs are made. There's no shame in that. However, he probably should have talked to the child's teacher before he called the fire department. My guess is that the kid had to tell his teacher ahead of time what he was making. I have never heard of a science fair where you weren't required to pre-register your experiment. How hard would it have been to talk the the science teacher before calling the bomb squad?

    Now, if the teacher thought that the device was a bomb (especially if he knew before hand that the kid was working on a proximity detector) then shame on him. I mean seriously, how hard would it have been to do a little research beforehand.

  • Fuckwhit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gogogoch (663730) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:09PM (#30793576)

    What a fuckwhit - the school principal should be fired.

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:10PM (#30793582) Homepage Journal

    So they told you that you had a great way to grow marijuana? Thats nice of them. I wonder what experience led them to that idea.

  • by Ilkhan28 (1711948) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:11PM (#30793602)
    ^^^ This (agree with russotto) Ok, you're 11 years old and your teachers and principal call the local authorities on you because of a project they assigned you to do, but thought the project looked like a suspicious "device"? Can you imagine how scary that would be for a kid that old? Yeah I would say he will need counseling, but for what the school principal put him through. If it were me, I would be trying to tell them what my project was over and over. And maybe this kid was doing that too, but of course, no one was listening to an 11 year old kid. Also I remember enough about science projects in school that in most cases all of them had to be approved by the teachers, initially to make sure it fits in with what lessons are being taught. At least I can't see how a teaching system would get away with just assigning students to go and work on projects, but not really making sure the student is on the right track. This whole event could now make the kid a social pariah, most of us here probably know how cruel some kids that age range can be to others. I'm not a parent but I would almost guess thats something worth taking legal actions against the school.
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by increment1 (1722312) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:13PM (#30793620)

    It isn't necessarily ineptitude that causes school officials to make decisions like this. The basic reasoning boils down to the fact that the school officials will take little if any flack for over reacting in the name of safety, but they will lose their jobs and be raked through the mud if they fail to react to an "obvious" threat.

    Part of the problem is that no one ever gets rewarded for the issues they chose to ignore. So there is no benefit to the principal to ignore what they think is a possible threat even if the probability of it being a threat is vanishingly small.

    The end result is that school officials with a high self interest will put their self interest in front of everyone else (the authorities who are wasting their time, the students out of class, the student directly involved, the parents who have to come pick up all the students early, etc), since they are more worried about the ramifications to themselves than the trouble they may cause for others.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:17PM (#30793652)
    "What's the student supposed to get counseling for?"

    It's quick, cheap, and simple. The kid needs to be counseled that some people are easily frightened. Some people are ignorant. Some people aren't the least bit intellectually curious. Some people are idiots. Most importantly, people who have all of these characteristics, plus psychopathic behavior, are elevated to positions of power and authority. Just like his associate principal. Of course, the kid's probably already figured that out.
  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:17PM (#30793654) Homepage
    Everything you said makes sense ... if the moron did not suggest the kid seek counseling. Once you realize that YOU over-reacted, the correct action is to accept the fact that YOU acted like a fool. It is not to shift blame to the kid.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:20PM (#30793686)

    At least it isn't as dangerous as a #3 pencil. [xkcd.com]

  • by 15Bit (940730) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:25PM (#30793736)
    Because the better ones cost more than you are willing to pay.
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cool_arrow (881921) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:27PM (#30793748)
    it is stupidity. An intelligent principal could have ascertained the necessary information by sitting down with the student and asking questions calmly thereby by avoiding all the resulting mess.
  • by houghi (78078) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:27PM (#30793750)

    As a kid I played killing people. It was either cowboys and indians or police and robbers. But now apparently kids need to be cocooned till they are 18 and then must know everything at once. No time to learn what is right and wrong.

  • by Narpak (961733) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:28PM (#30793758)

    Or maybe the kid was trying to impress his friends by acting like the thing was a bomb. While I'm sure the school/police/fire dept overreacted, kids do strange stuff and often don't realize the consequences of their actions.

    All that is mentioned in the article is:

    Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, said the student had been making the device in his home garage. A vice principal saw the student showing it to other students at school about 11:40 a.m. Friday and was concerned that it might be harmful, and San Diego police were notified.

    The school, which has about 440 students in grades 6 to 8 and emphasizes technology skills, was initially put on lockdown while authorities responded.

    Both the student and his parents were "very cooperative" with authorities, Luque said. He said fire officials also went to the student's home and checked the garage to make sure items there were neither harmful nor explosive.

    The student will not be prosecuted, but authorities were recommending that he and his parents get counseling, the spokesman said. The student violated school policies, but there was no criminal intent, Luque said.

    Now I can't say what policies he might have violated; though from what little is said in the article one is left with the impression that the vice principal in question overacted (or erred on the side of caution). I can understand that after going through such an event that the kid in question might need a bit of counselling to deal with the fact that he got hanged out in-front of the whole school as a possible terrorist. So I hope that is what they are talking about, and not that he "needs counselling" because he inadvertently scared a frightened adult administrator.

  • by letsief (1053922) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:29PM (#30793766)

    That's why I think people shouldn't criticize the vice principal too much for calling authorities to look into this. He wouldn't have done so unless he thought there was a reasonable chance that this thing was a bomb. Maybe he should have known better, but he didn't, and I'm not going to fault him for erring on the side of caution. But, I am troubled that the school and authorities seem to be blaming the kid and parents for this, like they should have known better than to bring a geeky home project to a *technology magnet school*. I would consider this a non-story if the school, vice principal, and authorities showed a little embarrassment over this situation, but they really seem to think this family did something horribly wrong.

  • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:33PM (#30793802)
    I would really like to know what policies these are, specifically. I'm too tired of hearing about people being raked through the mud for violating so-called policies.

    Once, when I was a student, I tried to get a copy of the school's policy manual. I was politely but firmly told to sit down and shut up. To be honest, I don't believe that such things even exist, or if they are they are so broadly defined as to be useless for informing behaviour.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:36PM (#30793858)

    My younger brother used to get in trouble for telling his math and science teachers that they were fools and idiots when they asked him questions in class. Nothing was very challenging to him. He dropped out after the 10th grade.

    He went to Community College, got straight A's. He got into an engineering program at a public university, got almost straight A's. Now he's finished his PhD at the top engineering school in the country, in his field, MIT.

    American schools are there to train the rank and file. In fact everyone that I know that works in a scientific field had dangerous aspirations in their teenage years, and didn't think much of the education our systems were providing. It became clear to all of us that if we cared to actually learn anything, it would be on our own.

  • by Narpak (961733) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:38PM (#30793874)

    Once, when I was a student, I tried to get a copy of the school's policy manual. I was politely but firmly told to sit down and shut up. To be honest, I don't believe that such things even exist, or if they are they are so broadly defined as to be useless for informing behaviour.

    Policies must always be worded in such a convoluted way as to remain open to any interpretation most serving the administration at any given time. Asking for the policy documentation is in itself a breach of policy and highly suspicious and subversive behaviour. Any questioning of authority is a sign of anti-social and destructive behaviour.

  • by BitterOak (537666) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:42PM (#30793908)
    I actually read TFA, and it states, as the summary quotes, "Apparently, the student violated school policies", but the article doesn't state the policy in question. It is hard to know if this is a case of stupid overreaction or a real violation of the rules. Does anyone know the exact wording of this "policy"?
  • Let me emphasize the best part:

    After talking to the student, it was decided about 1 p.m. to evacuate the school as a precaution while the item was examined.

    So they get there, the kid tells them what's going on.... THEN they decide to evacuate and examine it with a bomb robot (which takes two more hours). If that was a bomb and the kid wanted to use it, they were now four hours too late. Other than that, nice to show some faith/confidence in the kids.

    Now, the kid is "quite shaken"... and quite possibly will stop doing this kind of work on his own. Well done.

  • Well in my book, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deletedNO@SPAMslashdot.org> on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:43PM (#30793926)

    that vice-principal is a terrorist.
    It’s exactly what the dictionary says. (I don’t mean the 11th edition of the newspeak one, that you may think of. ;)
    He terrorizes an 11 year old child. (Think of the children!) He terrorizes the whole family. He causes fear, terror that requires police intervention.

    I say, make an example and ship him to Gitmo, in exchange for a honest American who sits down there just because his parents immigrated from the wrong country.
    I’d call that the American spirit! ;)

  • A lazy post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:54PM (#30794018) Journal

    The real problem is lawsuits. If the school officials get it wrong (and lets face it school kids HAVE attacked their school in the past) then they are sued, so nobody plays it safe anymore.

    One of the reason the US medical bill is through the roof is that because if a patient demands X procedure while the doctor knows it is silly, he gets it, because else he might sue.

    Say you are a station attendant and see a bag that seems to have been left behind. In the "real" world, you take a look, the changes of it being a bomb are remote and even if it is, bombs rarely explode just by looking. BUT what if you can be sued if you get it wrong? Loose not just your life (and nobody thinks they are going to die) but every thing you own? (Silly? Count the doctors that smoke or drink or drive without a seatbelt but do have malpractice insurance.)

    If you are sued for millions if you don't follow the book, you follow the book. And if you don't you loose your insurance and the first court case could bankrupt you.

    Calling the people involved stupid is the easy lazy answer. The real problem is the sue happy culture of the US, where any slightest mistake anyone not following the rule book to the letter can be sued for millions. If I saw an American have a heart attack, I would let them die. I could be sued for breaking a rib while saving their lives. No thanks.

  • by letsief (1053922) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @05:59PM (#30794062)

    School policies are usually pretty benign. Most of the time there's nothing wrong with the language of a policy per se, but they are often quite vague. And 99% of the time it's fine that a given policy is vague, since reasonable people are perfectly capable of looking at a situation and coming up with a reasonable response (and yes, school administrators are usually reasonable people).

    But, when people get put on the defensive, they'll often try to justify their actions. Vaguely written policies are very easy to point to as justification. So, while I basically agree that school policies are generally reasonable, I'm far less inclined to say a student necessarily did something wrong just because he violated a policy. It's certainly possible that we're not getting the whole story here, but it seems like what we do know from the article points to authorities attempting to justify their actions. The article said the student was "very cooperative" with authorities, which to me suggests he didn't say anything like "It's a bomb!", or that he talked back to the vice principal or authorities.

    And, for what it's worth, I don't think the response to the device was entirely unreasonable. I just think the vice principal and authorities should feel a little more embarrassed given what had actually happened.

  • by x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:02PM (#30794094)

    Students were evacuated from Millennial Tech Magnet Middle School in the Chollas View neighborhood Friday afternoon after an 11-year-old student brought a personal science project that he had been making at home to school, authorities said.

    TFA says the student had been making this thing in his garage and was just showing it to his friends when the VP saw it and said it looks dangerous. This is DEFINITELY an overreaction but it was not a school sanctioned project that the VP saw and flipped out about. This kid brought a crazy lookin thing into school without warning any administrators they flipped. The policy he violated was probably against bringing electronic things like that into school without approval.

  • by compro01 (777531) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:02PM (#30794096)

    Does anyone know the exact wording of this "policy"?

    "Students shall not perform any action that could result in any staff member looking like an incompetent moron"

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:04PM (#30794108) Homepage

    No need to involve the student. This isn't a kid prodigy building an atomic reactor; the device sounds (and likely was) simple in composition and principle. Just turn to the science teacher and say "That's not a bomb, is it?" and the science teacher will respond with "Oh, no, it's a simple little device for detecting motion made out of a plastic bottle, quite ingenious really, especially at this kid's grade level, gave it an 'A'."

    And that would be that.

    This principal ought to be then stripped in public, beaten senseless with a cane, then tarred, then feathered, then made fun of by an entire class of pointing science fair students.

    And then they ought to be fired.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:06PM (#30794122)

    Just a few days ago I read an article about DARPA complaining that not enough students were taking science degrees. Now we see why! Here is a principal at a tech magnet school, seriously unqualified, that cannot discriminate a simple electronic device from a bomb. The real question is exactly who hired this incompetent idiot to administer students that are obviously smarter them himself and the HR person. Instead of panicking and calling 911 he might have called one of the science teachers first. But no, he went into chicken little mode and assumed that Armageddon was at hand.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jamesh (87723) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:07PM (#30794126)

    When I was about 15 (20 years ago), we used to make little (~1m x 1m x 1m) hot air balloons out of tissue paper and use methylated spirits as the fuel. On one occasion our bottle of fuel was leaking - the lid had cracked or something and didn't fit tightly - so we chucked a cloth under the lid to stop it spilling. We were just about to head out the door when my dad pointed out that the fuel bottle (which I was carrying in my hand) looked uncannily like a molotov cocktail, and that we might want to reconsider how we carried it. Back then, had someone noticed, we might have been confronted by a policeman wanting to make sure we weren't up to too much mischief... I wouldn't like to think about what would have happened if we tried the same sort of thing today.

    It must suck a bit to be a kid in these times. There's no way I'm going to take my kids on an airplane... not because I fear for their safety, but because I just know that one of them will think it hilarious to make a joke about a bomb, and nobody else is going to find it funny.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damburger (981828) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:11PM (#30794168)

    I don't think you can frame this as game theory; the staff of the school are not reacting in this way in order to maximize their personal benefit (or minimize their personal loss). Whilst I concede that some people do think in this way, teaching selects out that characteristic by being an underpaid and overworked profession for the level of education and aptitude they have.

    The problem is that the staff are not permitted to make any kind of decision themselves; they are completely servile to the institution and the institution cannot be expected to exhibit human rationality.

  • by haruchai (17472) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:14PM (#30794198)

      Kid, keep up the good work, and move to a school with smarter officials.

  • by Lorens (597774) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:17PM (#30794226) Journal

    Reading the article (I know, but someone has to :-) ) it seems that it wasn't a Science Fair project, it was just something the kid had been playing around with at home and then brought it in to show his friends. The kid violated school policies

    No he didn't... the school policies are here:

    http://www.mtechmiddle.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=58810&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=87933&hideMenu=1&rn=8708720 [mtechmiddle.org]

    After looking twice I can't even find the part where it says "may not bring guns or knives or other weapons", let alone "may not bring anything that could possibly at a distance be mistaken for something dangerous".

    and that is why they said he should get counselling.

    Personally I think the school should pay for counseling, since the only reason he would need it is for the trauma of being treated like a terrorist :-)

    So the school has a policy banning kids from being inventive and wanting to show that inventiveness off. Anyway - thats one kid the school system has scared off technology - well done San Diego Unified School District.

    The ironic thing is that this is supposed to be a "Tech Magnet" school. Quoting from their mission statement:

    All Millennial Tech Middle School students will cultivate their technology skills to enhance their motivation and curiosity to excel academically in order to become productive citizens that will drastically impact the developing information age.

    All Millennial Tech Middle School students will cultivate their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills to enhance their motivation to excel academically in order to become global leaders and productive citizens in their chosen career path.

    That sounds like the kids might be expected to construct fun things related to science.

    Granted, it also sounds like you should expect your kid to be traumatized by the teachers. Not by the police, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:19PM (#30794238)

    that the article states the middle school "emphasizes technology skills".

    And people wonder why science and technology are on the decline in the US.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hanabal (717731) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:22PM (#30794264)

    then the students family would be sued to cover the cost of the false alarm, cause it was the students fault in the first place

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:23PM (#30794278)

    School administrators are often failed teachers or P.E. instructors with a career in the classroom that can be measured in 5 years or less. They are truly inept and feel that a tasted of the education system of any kind makes them qualified to then lead entire schools in turn.

    The man in this story is simply a moron who did not rationally discuss anything about the construction of the device with the child to draw intelligent conclusions. He had a knee-jerk reaction because that's what stupid people do when presented with things they don't - or refuse to - understand.

    Sadly this is absolutely the norm in school districts all across America, and has been for a few decades. The education system isn't flawed, just that the standards for these types of positions are _incredibly_ low.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:29PM (#30794326)

    And people wonder why America's falling behind in science.

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:36PM (#30794380) Homepage

    An excerpt from "The Underground History of American Education":
    http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/16a.htm [johntaylorgatto.com]
    """
    Solve this problem and school will heal itself: children know that schooling is not fair, not honest, not driven by integrity. They know they are devalued in classes and grades, that the institution is indifferent to them as individuals. The rhetoric of caring contradicts what school procedure and content say, that many children have no tolerable future and most have a sharply proscribed one. The problem is structural. School has been built to serve a society of associations: corporations, institutions, and agencies. Kids know this instinctively. How should they feel about it? How should we?

    As soon as you break free of the orbit of received wisdom you have little trouble figuring out why, in the nature of things, government schools and those private schools which imitate the government model have to make most children dumb, allowing only a few to escape the trap. The problem stems from the structure of our economy and social organization. When you start with such pyramid-shaped givens and then ask yourself what kind of schooling they would require to maintain themselves, any mystery dissipates--these things are inhuman conspiracies all right, but not conspiracies of people against people, although circumstances make them appear so. School is a conflict pitting the needs of social machinery against the needs of the human spirit. It is a war of mechanism against flesh and blood, self-maintaining social mechanisms that only require human architects to get launched.

    I'll bring this down to earth. Try to see that an intricately subordinated industrial/commercial system has only limited use for hundreds of millions of self-reliant, resourceful readers and critical thinkers. In an egalitarian, entrepreneurially based economy of confederated families like the one the Amish have or the Mondragon folk in the Basque region of Spain, any number of self-reliant people can be accommodated usefully, but not in a concentrated command-type economy like our own. Where on earth would they fit? In a great fanfare of moral fervor some years back, the Ford Motor Company opened the world's most productive auto engine plant in Chihuahua, Mexico. It insisted on hiring employees with 50 percent more school training than the Mexican norm of six years, but as time passed Ford removed its requirements and began to hire school dropouts, training them quite well in four to twelve weeks. The hype that education is essential to robot-like work was quietly abandoned. Our economy has no adequate outlet of expression for its artists, dancers, poets, painters, farmers, filmmakers, wildcat business people, handcraft workers, whiskey makers, intellectuals, or a thousand other useful human enterprises--no outlet except corporate work or fringe slots on the periphery of things. Unless you do "creative" work the company way, you run afoul of a host of laws and regulations put on the books to control the dangerous products of imagination which can never be safely tolerated by a centralized command system.

    Before you can reach a point of effectiveness in defending your own children or your principles against the assault of blind social machinery, you have to stop conspiring against yourself by attempting to negotiate with a set of abstract principles and rules which, by its nature, cannot respond. Under all its disguises, that is what institutional schooling is, an abstraction which has escaped its handlers. Nobody can reform it. First you have to realize that human values are the stuff of madness to a system; in systems-logic the schools we have are already the schools the system needs; the only way they could be much improved is to have kids eat, sleep, live, and die there.

    Schools got the way they were at the start of the twentieth century as part of a vast, intensely engineered social revolution in which all major institutions were overhauled to wo

  • Now I understand! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:38PM (#30794402)
    Now I understand! This is the 'socialization' that the home schooled kids are missing!
  • Re:A lazy post (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:41PM (#30794418)

    If the school officials get it wrong (and lets face it school kids HAVE attacked their school in the past)

    Yeah, because we all know all those stories about 11 year olds saying "Hey, I've got a cool science fair project" and it turning out to be a bomb. Yeah, those are some really common stories... Do kids sometimes attack their school? Yes, but with guns or concealed, rudimentary "bombs".

    One of the reason the US medical bill is through the roof is that because if a patient demands X procedure while the doctor knows it is silly, he gets it, because else he might sue.

    I take it you have never had a doctor who doesn't know his stuff do you? There are a lot of doctors who simply refuse to listen to their patient's complaints, many times leading to complications.

    And as for the US medical bill, who pays it? The people who request to have it done. (Or at least they should) Meaning, who cares if Joe Sixpack demands 9 knee surgeries, Joe Sixpack or his insurance company is paying for them, not you.

    BUT what if you can be sued if you get it wrong? Loose not just your life (and nobody thinks they are going to die) but every thing you own? (Silly? Count the doctors that smoke or drink or drive without a seatbelt but do have malpractice insurance.)

    Because we all know of those many, many, many things that have happened A) In schools B) From an 11 year old C) with the 11 year old showing off their project. D) In the USA

    There is a difference of someone finding a dropped bottle that looked like it, or finding it in possession of a student who won't explain what it is, and a fully cooperative 11 year old. This isn't Israel, it is California, terrorist and other attacks are so rare that they should hardly be considered.

    As for the doctors, how many of them really have to -themselves- get malpractice insurance? Most of the time they tell someone else, "Hey I need some insurance" they do the research and come up with a plan, the doctor says "Hey, this sounds good" and signs the paperwork. As for smoking, a lot of them know that it is bad, but see the risk/reward benefit as being in their favor. As for drinking, a moderate amount of drinking isn't going to be a health risk and may actually be a health benefit. While going home drunk from a bar or party every single night isn't going to be good at all for your health, having a glass of wine with dinner, or the occasional beer isn't going to be a health risk. And many doctors who drive without a seatbelt do it in habit. While some of us who are younger can't remember a time when you -didn't- wear your seatbelt, a lot of doctors are from older generations where you simply just didn't wear your seatbelt.

    If you are sued for millions if you don't follow the book, you follow the book. And if you don't you loose your insurance and the first court case could bankrupt you.

    You -could- be sued for millions, if it -is- a bomb, which -did- go off, which -did- cause a loss of life or injury, etc. You know, I -could- be checking my mail and I -could- be run over by a car and I -could- sustain massive internal injuries which -could- kill me, yet I know the risk of that is very small. Its even smaller that an 11 year old child has a bomb, that would go off, that would cause injuries, that would get you sue and you would lose.

  • Re:Counseling? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:44PM (#30794436) Homepage

    Counseling for being so stupid as to take some initiative and build something on his own. That's not what schools want to teach. Schools want to train the next generation of assembly line workers, Wal-Mart employees, and gas station attendants. Scratch that, they don't even want to do that, what they really want to do is make sure everyone meets the minimum requirements set by the state/federation so that they can continue to get funding.

    Teachers, on the other hand, want so much more for the students than they themselves have the time or money to give.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:48PM (#30794476)

    This article didn't make sense. It says the student broken no laws, but he was in violatino of school policy? What kind of policy prevents them from bringing in harmless science projects?

    "The student will not be prosecuted, but authorities were recommending that he and his parents get counseling, the spokesman said. The student violated school policies, but there was no criminal intent, Luque said."

    Why the hell would they recommend counseling for a non-violent and non-criminal act?

    Is there a better link regarding this article?

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smokin_juan (469699) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:00PM (#30794596) Homepage Journal
    "The principal doesn't know enough about electronics..." How could he not know? He's overseeing a *technical* school. Does he ever venture out into the halls or talk to the kids? He's a fucking absentee landlord and deserves to lose his job two weeks ago. And shame on the parents for letting the gestapo inspect their house and suggest counseling after "da bomb" was determined to be harmless.
  • Recovering costs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmv (93421) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:06PM (#30794638) Homepage

    Police and fire officials also will not seek to recover costs associated with responding to the incident, the spokesman said.

    Translation: We realize we screwed up and don't want to be laughed at in court.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:22PM (#30794748)

    However, say the principal is sitting there with the student with a device with wires sticking out of it all over the place. The principal doesn't know enough about electronics to to be sure whether it is a safe device, or is indeed a bomb. Additionally, the principal doesn't trust the student since if it is a bomb the student probably wouldn't admit to it.

    Someone who personally knows the student and could accurately assess the situation should have been there. The principle, and assistant principle or just a teacher. Was there no-one around who actually knew the kid ? Seems like a pretty bad school to me.

  • by billybob_jcv (967047) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:35PM (#30794838)

    If they treated kids like this in the 70's, I would have been declared a threat to the free world. I taught myself how to solder when I was 10, and I was into building all kinds of electronics kits and projects. I was also into model rocketry and built multi-stage rockets capable of reaching altitudes of 2500 ft. I brought crap to school to show my class all the time. Luckily, I didn't grow up to be an international terrorist - I became an engineer. We are in deep trouble when our education system treats the kids that should be leading us to the next technology leap forward as criminals.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:58PM (#30794952) Journal
    In most cases, "Don't make Admin look stupid, especially if they are." is implied policy #0.

    This is in no way confined to schools, of course.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:01PM (#30794976)

    So the school security guard comes and tells us he could have justified shooting us, and tells us to get back inside.

    They armed the school security guard? That's fucked up right there all by itself. The chance of a school guard actually needing to use a weapon is going to be vanishingly small - certainly much smaller than the chance of accidentally shooting someone.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:04PM (#30794982) Journal

    Until there are actual ramifications for raising a false alarm, issues like this are not only likely to continue, but inevitable.

    If we try to solve this solution by punishing false alarms, it will make the problem worse as anyone with half a brain realizes that they will be punished no matter what happens. Would you want to stay in the kind of position where no matter what you do, you are penalized? If I have that kind of boss, I leave immediately. The only people who remain will be those who are too inept to find an alternative.

    The solution is going to be that eventually kids will get used to the idea that they shouldn't bring things in that scare their administrators, and they'll adapt. May sound lame, but it's what's going to happen, unless we can somehow reduce the risk that people are going to come and shoot their classmates, or bring a bomb. No school administrator wants that to happen at their school. You may rightly say that the risk of that happening in a particular school is unlikely, and you would be right, but no administrator knows how to determine if it is likely to happen at their school or not. They may have students a lot like Dylan Klebold in their school, and don't know how to ensure that they don't go off the deep end, so they do the best they can.

  • by alizard (107678) <alizard@ecis.cRASPom minus berry> on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:26PM (#30795104) Homepage
    he and his family need to move to a country that values science over superstition and is in general, more sanely run than the USA.

    The principal and vice-principal of this allegedly "technical" high school should be fired and blacklisted, of course, but they'll probably get promoted instead.
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:33PM (#30795136)

    The school's statement does make sense, I'm sure it was to calm parents.

    "Don't worry, we have rules and guidelines, and a system in place that would have caught this had it been real. We're like all over that. He broke the rules, had it been a real thing we would have stopped him before he did anything"

    It's lies obviously, since the kid did nothing wrong, but that's what the purpose of that was, to cover their own asses and make sure at the next PTA they don't get "They're NOT THINKING OF THE CHILDREN! This could have been a terrorist attack! This shouldn't happen!"

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StarsAreAlsoFire (738726) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:34PM (#30795142)
    "Why the hell would they recommend counseling for a non-violent and non-criminal act?"

    Being mind-raped by the State causes mental trauma.

    Oh. Wait. That couldn't be it.
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kandela (835710) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:36PM (#30795150)
    Maybe it was this bit, "The Millennial Tech experience will enhance educational opportunities, prepare students for the workplace and allow all individuals to feel comfortable and secure." Clearly he should have anticipated the paranoia of his vice principal and refrained from making anything he could mistake for something else and thus feel unsafe. *shakes head*
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kramulous (977841) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:43PM (#30795192)

    I live in an Australia city now, but when my kids get to the inquisitive age, I'll have to pack up and move back to the bush - I like north queensland ... barrier reef.

    We used to combine all sorts of nasty chemicals together as kids to see what would give a good bang. After many experiments we worked out which ones generally reacted together. Dad made sure there were textbooks lying around so we could work out what the reactions were and why (we were left to do this on our own - not forced to do so). We also built lots of electronics and mechanical contraptions from supplies we found and collected from the farm dumps. All kinds of shit really; No such thing as boredom.

    I now have three science degrees; Mathematics, Computer and Organic Chemistry. Brother is an orthopaedic surgeon.

    There is no way we could do that in the current environment where we live now. Too many nannies would get their panties in a twist. I do feel sorry for kids today. Kids will be kids.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StarsAreAlsoFire (738726) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @09:00PM (#30795290)
    "The solution is going to be that eventually kids will get used to the idea that they shouldn't bring things in that scare their administrators"
    *twitch*

    " unless we can somehow reduce the risk that people are going to come and shoot their classmates,"

    To negative numbers? The chances of a kid dying in a violent crime involving explosives at a school are so low that you need a scientific calculator to display them. Compare that to the mortality rate in high-school football: http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/19980610033631data_trunc_sys.shtml

    The problem won't be solved until idiots that fail to understand basic statistics aren't allowed to graduate high school. Though jailing any idiot that ever excuses incidents like this with any permutation of the phrase "they['re] do[ing] the best they can".

    There's a quote which I fear I cannot find in order to cite, but to paraphrase:
    "If all the well-intentioned were killed at birth, the remaining evil-doers would be small potatoes by comparison."
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spokedoke (1211292) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @09:35PM (#30795456)
    This is one of those real life incidents that makes movies with an idiot plot all the more believable.
  • by omb (759389) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @09:47PM (#30795532)
    You and people like you are exactly why the situation in the USA gets ever worse.

    You are constantly obsessed with un-real threats, fixing problems that don't exist, and simply a GENERAL denial of common sense, justified on stupid rules and panicky process. Eg TSA ...

    This kid was VICTIMIZED, should sue the vice-principle, inter alia, for slander of reputation (in his trade of profession, as a school student) and for distress and the suit should enjoin the school Board, and the County. His parents should have at least one with balls.

    He is entitles to an APOLOGY, DAMAGES, and full reparation of his REPUTATION, and equal publicity, if necessary paid for by the Board, and since the costs were vicarious should be sanctioned across the Board members by a levy.
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sharkey (16670) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @09:50PM (#30795550)
    It sounds like a Simpson's chalkboard gag: "I will not expose the ignorance of the faculty"
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @10:02PM (#30795616) Homepage Journal

    Maybe some instruction would be in order.
    Rule one. Don't scare the sheep.
    Rule two. Don't scare the sheep that thinks they are in charge.

    I think that making this guy look like a fool might be a good thing. I would have been all with letting him keep his dignity up till the CYA part at the end.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by genner (694963) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @10:08PM (#30795664)

    In most cases, "Don't make Admin look stupid, especially if they are." is implied policy #0. .

    Of course, schools are designed to teach kids how the real world works.

  • by TimSSG (1068536) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @10:27PM (#30795752)
    I remember my older brother bringing in an half/part shotgun into wood working class to make an new wooden stock for it. Time frame mid 70s. I would guess now days this would result in jail time. Tim S.
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 10101001 10101001 (732688) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @10:29PM (#30795760) Journal

    I don't think you can frame this as game theory; the staff of the school are not reacting in this way in order to maximize their personal benefit (or minimize their personal loss). Whilst I concede that some people do think in this way, teaching selects out that characteristic by being an underpaid and overworked profession for the level of education and aptitude they have.

    Teaching may select out that characteristic, but management seems to select for that characteristic. The person in question was Vice Principal. If the theory holds true that bad engineers in companies are promoted to management to avoid causing actual damage, you can easily imagine what happens in schools. (And yes, like most stereotypes, even if it were generally true, it's almost certainly not absolutely true. But, what sort of person would spend years to get a degree to teach, just to take the position of Vice Principal and be stuck primarily discipling children? And if they're not a teacher at all, why, as a manager, would they want to work in a school?)

  • by xyph0r (1153429) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @10:40PM (#30795812)
    I agree. I think they're going about it at entirely the wrong angle. Instead of stopping children from doing a particular activity (be it learning electronics, model rocketry, or even pyrotechnics) shouldn't we be encouraging their creativity and initiative? Instead of saying 'stop doing that, it's naughty', saying 'that's really cool. You could do that to help the world'?
    Maybe I'm naive, but I believe that if you were to encourage children in these activities, engage with them and let them know that you think they are doing something positive, they'd be less likely to use them for something bad. The world will always have religious fanatics, people who disagree with a state's ideologies and values, but by stifling childrens' initiative, the only thing you're doing is driving them away.
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by haruharaharu (443975) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @11:05PM (#30795916) Homepage
    Counseling from the trauma of having the bomb squad called over your science project?
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday January 16, 2010 @11:32PM (#30796016)

    You should calm down, it's really not that big of a deal.

    You should wake up. It is a very big deal. This child was harmed (to what degree, only a psych eval could fully determine) by those who are in loco parentis and charged with his well-being. That assistant principal abrogated his responsibilities, and should certainly be removed from any position of authority over the students. I agree 100% with the GP: at the very least that prick should have to stand up in front of the entire student body and apologize to the student. Won't happen here, of course, but in a just world it most certainly would.

    Some redress is in order. I haven't been that young since the sixties, but if it had happened to me, believe me, my family would have made damn sure there were consequences to that school and the arrogant fools who apparently "administer" it. You really need to acquire a little empathy for the kid: he suffered a terrifying experience through no fault of his own whatsoever, at the hands of someone who would better serve the school by slapping burgers in the lunchroom. You think that boy is going to walk away from this unscathed?

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @11:53PM (#30796106)

    >the institution cannot be expected to exhibit human rationality.:

    there is no such measurable entity as "The Institution". There are only people looking for excuses to not take responsibility.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @11:55PM (#30796110)
    Odds are if it looks like a bomb to the layman, it's probably a prop. Note to laymen: if it's got a huge red digital display counting down the seconds until it goes "boom", just like every bomb you ever seen in a move or television show, then it almost certainly IS NOT a bomb. Seriously -- what terrorist that actually wanted to blow shit up would bother to wire up a huge, conspicuous countdown timer?

    My daughter's school has a policy against bringing toys to school; that is probably the policy this kid violated. He almost certainly is not the one that needs counseling.
  • by camperdave (969942) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:43AM (#30796258) Journal
    Considering that the Nobel family owned and operated an armaments factory, I find that difficult to believe.
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quanticle (843097) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:45AM (#30796272) Homepage

    The terrorists do not have to win in order for us to lose.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jhol13 (1087781) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:02AM (#30796318)

    they shouldn't bring things in that scare their administrators

    As a Finn I hope this happens. You know, stifling imagination and inventiveness is a sure way to ensure competitiveness will drop too.

    Anything can, and will, scare other people. Teddy bears to geocaching to advertisements to ...

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alexandra Erenhart (880036) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ssecnirpnayias]> on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:19AM (#30796360) Homepage
    Nope. Those who can't play rock and roll become pop artists :P
  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:06AM (#30796512)

    Stopping them from graduating high school is not enough. We need to stop them from _running_ high schools, as well.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @03:55AM (#30796838)
    Well it's quite obvious. They couldn't find anything illegal or wrong whatsoever. So of course they're going to make up bullshit "the student needs counseling" and "he violated school policies" to make it sound like they aren't a bunch of incompetent shitheads.

    This happens all the time with terror suspects, like that guy who was puking in the bathroom on the plane a few weeks ago. He was labeled a "terrorist" because of the color of his skin and yet the government and the racist airline employee managed to come out looking like heroes. How? They spew this bullshit about "have to be cautious" and "he was suspicious" and they imply there was actually danger "we were lucky it was a false alarm".
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @04:37AM (#30796966)

    Haven't been following the news much in the last 40 years, have we?

    Apparently not. Just what news have I been missing for the last 40 years?

    Or are you of a mind that simply because a child brings a weapon to school the appropriate response is to shoot them?

    Or perhaps you are yet another innumerate who believes that we get a Columbine every other week?

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dr Damage I (692789) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @06:51AM (#30797426) Journal

    Why the hell would they recommend counseling for a non-violent and non-criminal act?

    By recommending something vaguely punitive (and "magnanimously" forgoing billing the childs family for the expense), the authorities are attempting to prevent blame from shifting from the child and his family to the place that it actually belongs: the authorities

    recommending counseling is an attempt to maintain the appearance that the child actually did something wrong.

  • by dzfoo (772245) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @08:22AM (#30797732)

    >> Maybe he should have known better, but he didn't, and I'm not going to fault him for erring on the side of caution.

    And therein lies the root of the problem: There is absolutely no consequence to acting, reacting, or over-reacting in an unreasonable, ignorant, or just plain stupid way.

    All actions should have consequences, even those obviously foolish ones taken with the best of intentions. This is precisely the reason why people who constantly "abuse" the 911 emergency services for--what some officials deem--trivial reasons, get police warnings or have to pay penalties for wasting everybody's time.

            -dZ.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by N Monkey (313423) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @08:41AM (#30797814)

    In most cases, "Don't make Admin look stupid, especially if they are." is implied policy #0..

    Sounds like they can manage that by themselves.

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @09:02AM (#30797960) Journal

    The sad truth is nobody is thinking of the children. They are our future and it looks like a pretty bleak one right now. Where every kid who displays an ounce ingenuity, exceptional achievement, or even exceptional interest in a particular topic of field is labeled as a potential threat.

    How likely is this kid after this experience to want to participate in a science fair again? How likely is he to share is projects with teachers who might be able to mentor him? Now even if teachers would be willing to put the extra time in the kid is going to be afraid to ask.

    We are looking at a system that is effectively geared to NOT develop the talents of our best and brightest!

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @09:07AM (#30797998) Journal

    I agree the parents acted shamefully. I don't have any kids yet myself but my parents always knew enough about what I was doing that this sort of thing would not have caused them worry about me and instead cased them to get extremely defensive. They would have stuck up for me.

    I can hear mom now"
    "You're and idiot I am taking my son and leaving now; and don't you come anywhere near our house or is father will make you wish you didn't"

  • Re:I recommend ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by anyGould (1295481) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @09:59AM (#30798328)

    And, since they have NO evidence of ANYTHING, they will loose.

    Sadly, they won't lose.

    If the parents choose to make an issue out of this, the school division will line up solidly behind this guy, and it will sit in lawyer hell until after the kid's graduated. I know an example where the parent's lawyer told them it would cost $250,000 and ten years, and at the end the school will give them a very nice apology - basically, that it wasn't worth pursuing.

    The best solution for the kid and parents is preferably to change schools - the place advertises itself as a tech-focused school, but freaks out when kids make science projects? Barring that, you're stuck playing passive-aggressive with the admins - send notes excusing your kid from homework because of "concerns that it may be mistaken for explosive devices"...

  • by St.Creed (853824) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @10:08AM (#30798406)

    Perhaps it doesn't. I'm just making the point that you are not special because you are military.

    Unfortunately, your point that may be valid 'in abstracto', has no relation to the actual facts we're discussing. As soon as the guards had established he had a right to carry a rifle onto the plane, any search for other guns (that was what they try to find with a metal detector) or even a knife was a useless waste of time.

  • by anyGould (1295481) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @10:35AM (#30798624)

    For the period January 1990 to February 28, 2002 the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recorded 1,055 incidents of bombs being placed in school premises.

    And apparently, there are 125,000 schools in the US [answers.com]

    .

    So, assuming an even spread (no two "bombs" in the same school), a school has a 0.84% (less than 1 in 100) chance of being involved in a single incident over the last 12 years. Now, IIRC, US schools run on the four-year system (grades 1-4 in one school, 5-8 in another, 9-12 in the third, right?), which means that over 12 years, that's three generations of kids going through the doors - two-thirds of the student population over the time listed, even if their school was "hit", weren't a student there when it happened anyway.

    If my 8am math is working right, that gives your school a 0.281% chance of being involved in a "bomb incident" during your child's four year stay. And that's before you start removing the incidences where the bomb is an alarm clock with a few wires sticking out (the "I didn't do my homework" bomb) rather than an actual explosive of any kind.

  • by anyGould (1295481) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @10:48AM (#30798724)

    No, I'm thinking that if you're going to let him carry a freakin' assault rifle on board the aircraft, the rest of the security inspection is rather pointless.

    I think terrorists are now more likely to dress as a member of the US military, since instead of futzing with MacGyver-reject bombs, you can just.. oh.. shoot the passengers.

  • What bothers me... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rogerdr (745180) on Monday January 18, 2010 @04:48PM (#30813064)
    is that, even after finding out that the kid's project was harmless, they went to his house and inspected his garage. There was no rational suspicion of wrongdoing, no evidence to justify further investigation. I can only assume that this was the "We always have to be absolutely sure" excuse used far too often to go where they don't have a real right to.

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